Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Sugar emailed the Divas of the Dirt:
I'm looking so forward to seeing everyone & catching up on their summers. If you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, I'll see you guys on Saturday I've heard it's actually supposed to get cooler again by then. I hope that is correct so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Annie: Weather forecast is for only 97 degrees, a cool front!!!

Sugar: I saw that! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that's definitely the high for the day!

By mid-September very little of the outdoors anywhere in Austin looked good - but indoors a pretty table graced with Hydrangeas made us forget what was on the other side of the door.
Divasofthedirt,hydrangeas on table Is there such a thing as too many berries? Sugar dared us to find out and we took up the challenge! Divasofthedirt, berries for breakfastThen she presented a fantastic basil, spinach and egg casserole with two kinds of tomatoes. Divasofthedirt,two tomato casseroleWe went outside to see what could be done. In front, the Indian Hawthorne was surviving the summer reasonably well but that groundcover just wasn't working. It spreads all over but isn't dense enough to keep out the grass. We debated its identity - didn't look like the kinds of liriope the rest of us had - maybe it was some kind of Monkey Grass? Whatever it was, Sugar wanted it gone. Yes, we can do that!Divasofthedirt, border work aheadA while later I discovered another reason to dislike this grasslike groundcover - Mindy noticed there was a cluster of Brown Recluse spiders in that mess! And one of them was crawling on my back!

Some shrubs on the side of the house needed clipping back - they may need taming, but Hey- these Abelias & Shrimp plants and rosemary may not be native plants but they are survivors. The cannas are alive, but about 1/4 of normal size and not blooming this year.Divasofthedirt, shrubs need workIn back there are plenty of chores large and small - cutting back, hoeing weeds, repotting the inhabitant of a container that cracked.Divasofthedirt,work for all
A ash huge tree that used to be in the back yard was now gone - look at that footprint! The ash had once provided shade but trees don't live forever and when huge limbs randomly come crashing down, a tree no longer seems like a friend. A tree in decline can be a looming, overhanging threat to the house and its inhabitants.Divasofthedirt, footprint of ash treeThe blue plumbago managed to survive and even thrive in horrible 2011. What's that tool next to the bed?Divasofthedirt,cordless tiller w plumbagoPretty cool! - a rechargeble mini-tiller - this will let Buffy enlarge that back bed so there will be a place for Sugar's pots of agapanthus. Divasofthedirt,buffy likes minitillerThe creamy molded salad with mangoes, dressed with sour cream and honey was perfect for this warm day.
Divasofthedirt, molded mango salad
A chicken-wild rice salad was delicious too, but the surprise hit of the lunch menu was something Sugar knew from a visit to France and had recreated for us in her kitchen. This is Celery Root Remoulade, kind of like Slaw that has gone to heaven. Sugar's recipe is pretty close to the Ina Garten version found here
Divasofthedirt,chicken rice & RemouladeSwirly frosted cupcakes were a sweet end to a memorable Diva lunch.Divasofthedirt, swirly frosted cupcakes
In addition to wonderful food - Sugar's two small dogs provided entertainment! Here's a replay of their video from fall 2010

Now there's a blank spot for planting in frontDivasofthedirt, blank space for next yearand a border ready for more plants in backDivasofthedirt, plumbago & hymenocallis foliage
... thank you all for your hard work yesterday. the back bed looks the best it's looked in a long time....added the agapanthus to that bed ... it gets good sun back there now since the ash tree's gone... also put the almond verbena in the front beds & am praying they live!!
...so, thanks for your help.

Before we leave Sugar's garden - let's take a closer look at that Plumbago auriculata - what a fabulous color! Divasofthedirt, close-up, Plumbago auriculata

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